Those Awkward Moments (Episode 13)

Those Awkward Moments (Episode 13)

“Coward! Don’t ever come to my house again!”

As my mind recycled the awful words my so-called best friend had spat at me as I fled from being his accomplice in stealing from his parents, a sudden ugly feeling surged through me. The emotion bubbled red-hot when the realization dawned afresh on me that ten years later, I was stuck working with this guy on my very first songwriting gig.

Wasn’t it funny how the universe works?

I sat opposite Demoniker, who was too engrossed with her social networking or whatever she was doing on her phone to notice how uncomfortable I felt. She sat on the studio couch with her dainty bare feet propped up on the table, and her fingers hitting the screen of her phone without mercy.

Isaac was setting up the recording instrument and booth to suite his method of production. I kept flicking glances his way, irritated that he still hadn’t recognized me, and hoping he’d do so and suffer the discomfort that came from knowing he’d have to work with someone who he betrayed so long ago.

The studio door opened and Josh walked in. he’d left minutes earlier to talk with his father. The arrogant, demanding prick that the man was!

“I’m really sorry about my dad,” he directed at me. “He’s usually not like that.”

I replied with an ‘Oh really?’ face.

“Okay, he’s always like that,” Josh conceded. “But it’s because of the stress he’s been going through trying to meet the demands of the shareholders and partners and such…”

“So that gives him the right to muscle his way through my album’s production process?” Demoniker asked, her eyebrows lifting.

“I guess not,” Josh replied. “Anyway, I talked to him and he’s agreed to give us a week’s grace to come up with the three new tracks.”

“That’s still not enough,” I said.

“Do you want to keep your job or not?” he snapped.

I drew back in shock, my eyes also flashing with affront. Josh had never spoken to me like that before. A moment of silence elapsed, before it was broken by Demoniker outburst of loud laughter.

“Okay, what’s funny?” Josh heaved, frowning.

“You – you’re what’s funny,” she said. “Look at you trying to act all bad-ass like your father.”

“And so…” he questioned the star, clearly miffed by her jibe at his masculinity.

“It doesn’t fit you, that’s all,” she said, unaffected by Josh’s glower.

He hissed briefly at Demoniker’s statement and turned to face me. “Look, I’m sorry for snapping at you. I just don’t know how else I can convince my dad to give us more than a week. He’s not –”

“It’s okay,” I interrupted. “I understand.”

“Oh good,” he continued. “At least, now you’ve got a secret weapon. So it’s all probably going to go quicker and smoothly.”

At first, I stared uncomprehendingly at him, wondering what he meant by ‘secret weapon’. Then I saw him avert his gaze to the recording booth, where Isaac was setting up to better the acoustics. I hadn’t even realised he was still in there.

“Yeah, about that,” said Demoniker, apparently catching on to Josh’s meaning as well. “How good is the Beatz guy anyway?”

Josh replied with some confidence, “Let’s just say he’s probably the love child of Epic and Grammy-licious. That’s how good he is! Wait, you haven’t heard of him?”

“Not really,” Demoniker answered. “Any Nigerian producer besides Don Jazzy is just background music to me.”

I smiled, feeling some perverse pleasure at Demoniker’s condescension to Isaac.

“Oh well,” Josh said, “trust me when I say he’s the best we have in the country right now. He’s produced albums for both Afrikaan Gangster and Divalicious.”

“I’d argue with you,” Demoniker intoned, “but you got me this cute little ball of talent” – she turned to pinch my cheeks – “so who am I to object. Right, Kevin?”

I didn’t answer. I’d be damned before I’ll concede ever again that Isaac was a talented producer. I was familiar with Beatz’s work, but all my regard for the man had changed now that I knew he was the boy who’d almost ruined my life years ago.

Josh walked over to the production equipments, pressed a button and called on Isaac, “Yo, Beatz!”

Isaac looked up at us and Josh signaled for him to step out of the recording booth. Seconds later, he joined us. A fine film of sweat covered his forehead and dribbled down his temples. As a kid, he’d always gotten easily exhausted.

Some things never change, I thought. Well, except maybe for the fact that he was ten times more attractive than he was ten years ago. It’s most unfair how Nature can be generous with the worst of people, I thought dourly.

“You know Demoniker, right?” Josh asked him, gesturing to the star, who was back on her phone.

“Yes,” Isaac exclaimed with a very wide smile on his face. “I’m truly honored to be working for you.”

“Same here,” she replied.

“And you’ve met our songwriter Kevin too…” Josh waved at me.

“Of course, I can’t wait to start working with you.” The douche-bag accompanied with words with a stretch of his hand for me to shake.

I saw the hand coming up, and knowing that I couldn’t bring myself to touch him, to seal some sort of comradeship deal with the joining of hands, I quickly looked away from him, feigning distraction, and so, ‘naturally’, I hadn’t seen him gesture toward me.

The hand hovered in the air for a quick moment, before he took it down.

I could tell that Josh saw this, but refrained from remarking on it.

“Well, before you start recording and stuff, I’m going to take you to see my assistant. Her name is Ngozi, and she’s going to give you a brief tour of the building. Does that sound okay?”

“Oh, there’s really no need,” said Isaac.

I rolled my eyes. When I refocused, I saw Demoniker’s speculative stare on me. I looked away.

“Of course there is,” Josh insisted. “It’s mandatory for everyone who’s working here, part time and full time.”

Isaac smiled. “Okay then.”

Momentarily, the two of them were out of the studio and I was alone with Demoniker. For a few minutes, we sat there quietly. She texted on her phone, and I stared morosely at nothing, brooding with my thoughts.

“What’s your deal with him?” I heard her finally ask me.

I glanced at her. Her eyes were still fixed on the screen of her iPhone.

“Huh?”

“You heard me right. Beatz – do you have a problem with him?”

“No, no, I don’t. Why would you think that?”

“Oh nothing,” she answered. “I certainly wasn’t asking because of the way you came close to scorching his entire body with those acid looks you were giving him.”

“Oh, it’s nothing like that.” I faked a chuckle. “I just don’t like how Chief Bassey fired the producer we were working with. The man wasn’t all that bad.”

“Yeah, I know,” said Demoniker. “Don’t mind the man. He’s just an impatient person. If I wasn’t so fond of his son, I probably wouldn’t even have set foot in his shitty label.”

I hung my head.

“No offense,” she added.

“Trust me, none taken.”

She laughed.

“Speaking of people in a hurry,” she continued. “You left quite early yesterday night.”

“Huh?” I said again. I’d heard what the woman said; I was just having a hard time understanding how she’d consider eleven pm ‘quite early’.

“The Raven,” she explained. “You didn’t stay for the after-party of my show.”

“I was exhausted. I needed to rest after the day I had. Plus, remember my mother is pregnant.”

“Oh, so it had nothing to do with that cute guy you were chatting up.”

I instantly felt my body ice over at Demoniker’s words, while my mind turned riotous with panic. My heart began beating fast, a loud thumping I feared she could hear. So she’d seen me with Kuddus – what had she seen really? Had I given off any telltale signs? How hardwired was her gaydar? Did she know I was gay?

Play it cool, Kevin. Play it cool!

“No, that was just an old friend,” I replied in the calmest tone possible.

“Oh,” she said. Maybe it was just me, but she suddenly looked disappointed at my answer. “Anyway, thanks again for saving my ass up there.”

“It’s okay. That’s what I’m here for.”

She returned to her phone, and left me again to my thoughts. She chuckled at something on the screen, and I stared at her, noting how enraptured she’d been with the device ever since Chief Bassey left the studio. Her rapid-fire texting was often interspersed with frequent smiles and teenage-girl giggles. I found that odd; such ordinary reactions during chatversations weren’t what I associated with superstars.

“Anyway,” I directed at her, “you will not believe who I ran into in the elevator today!”

”Who?” she asked, her attention still on her phone.

“Mula Mike…”

She brought up her face to me. “The rapper?”

“Yeah.”

“Here?”

“Yeah.”

“Oh shit!” she muttered.

“Is something the matter?” I questioned. My Linda Ikeji gossip mode was now on full blast. I could remember the sardonic expression on Mike’s face when I told him I was working for Demoniker.

“It’s nothing,” she answered with attempted airiness. “I just have unsettled issues with him.”

Now I was seriously interested. “Issues like?” I prodded.

“Nice try.” She smiled. “I ain’t telling you nothing,” she said with an American twang.

“That’s too bad,” I said, faking disappointment.

“Why, why is it too bad?”

“Because I thought you’d want to know what he said to me about you.”

Mula Mike hadn’t said much. All he did was wish me a curt ‘good luck’ after my revelation to him. But Demoniker didn’t need to know that now, did she?

“What did he say?” she asked.

Before I could come up with a suitably intriguing answer, the door opened and Isaac walked in. behind him was a laughing Ngozi. The two were clearly enjoying a recently-told joke.

Leave it to these two to ruin THIS too, I thought with a silent groan.

***

The production processes began soon after, and it all seemed to be going well. I used every opportunity I had to avoid communication with Isaac. But just as we were about to get on with the real thing, Demoniker got a text from her phone. Actually, she’d been getting a lot of texts. They kept coming and coming, a distraction that irked me – and Isaac, I noticed.

When she read this last text while she was in the booth, headphones wrapped around her head, she smiled, pulled off the headphones, and stepped out of the sanctum.

“Er, Demoniker –” Isaac began.

“Sorry, I’ll be right back,” she tossed out, before walking out of the studio.

Just great! And we’re supposed to have three tracks ready in a week’s time, I thought with some exasperation.

Three seconds later, I realized I was now alone in the studio with Isaac, doused in a silence that was cold and uncomfortable. My heartbeat ratcheted up and my mind began seesawing between the decision of staying out and getting the heck out of the studio as well.

Before I could make up my mind, he turned to me and said, “So…must be fun, huh? Working for Demoniker?”

What did he mean by that? Was he trying to say I was not good enough for her? Who did he think he is? The thoughts pounded furiously in my head as I stared stonily back at him. My answer was curt. “Yeah, it’s cool.”

“Yeah,” he echoed, now eyeing me warily, as though he’d suffered some frostbite from the tone of my voice. “By the way, I heard your song, Misery, and I actually think its dope.”

“Oh really,” I said, my lip curling, “because it looked like Chief Bassey brought you here so you could make me stop writing – what was it he called it? Ah yes – pathetic songs for the international star.”

Isaac reared slightly back from me. He gave a hesitant chuckle before saying, “No, he brought me here because the previous producer wasn’t doing Demoniker’s songs…your songs justice. He believes I can do a better job, that’s all.”

“Whatever,” I muttered to myself, looking away.

There was a brief pause, and then I heard him take a breath before saying, “I’m sorry, Kevin, but did I do anything to offend you?”

You’ve been saying my name, staring me in the face, and you can’t even remember me! I yearned to yell wrathfully at him. My self control was remarkable, as my voice remained void of my raging fire as I replied, “No. Why would you think that?”

“Well, ever since you saw me, you’ve been acting like I did something wrong.”

I decided not to answer him, choosing instead to let him know my disinterest with this conversation by leaning back on my seat with my journal and pen in hand; I proceeded to writing something upbeat, another contribution, perhaps for Demoniker, perhaps not. He wisely took the hint and refrained from addressing me. For what felt like an hour, but was in fact a few minutes, the silence reigned supreme, while we waited for Demoniker to be ‘right back’.

***

It was twenty minutes later. Isaac heaved to his seat, impatience etched on his face. “I’m going to go look for her.”

His obvious irritation with Demoniker was one emotion we suddenly had in common at the moment. “Never mind,” I said, getting to my feet too. “Let me do it!” Anything to get away from him and that studio that suddenly started to smell of him, I thought.

As I made my way down the halls of Highland Records in search of Demoniker, I heard someone call my name. I turned around to see Ngozi walking toward me.

“Kevin, since when did Josh’s office line become an extension for your people to reach out to you with?” Her expression was a bitch shrugging out of slumber.

“What are you talking about?” I said waspishly, in no mood to take her bullshit.

“Hey, don’t use that tone with me, mister. I’m the one who should be pissed here.”

“What do you want, Ngozi?” I snapped.

“There’s somebody on the line for you at my office.”

Your office… Right! “Who is it?”

“I don’t know. Do I look like your assistant?” She whirled away from me and sauntered off. “You better hurry before the line cuts off. She sounded really mad,” she tossed over her shoulder.

She? She who?

I hurried to Josh’s office. The outer office was spic and span, with absolutely no clutter on Ngozi’s fine oak, slightly expansive desk. I could see the red light blinking on the telephone system on the desk, signifying that a call was on hold. I picked up the receiver and depressed the button next to the red light, releasing the call.

“Hello?”

“Hello, please, is this Kevin?” a female voice answered.

I recognised it immediately. It was my eldest sister.

“Yes, Amaka, it’s me!” I exclaimed in a pleased tone. It had been long since we spoke.

“I’ve been trying your line for days now,” she snapped.

Ngozi was right. She didn’t sound pleased.

“What is wrong with you?” she railed on. “I had to call Samuel to give me your office number –”

“I lost my phone,” I said, interrupting her steam. “Don’t you remember –”

“Whatever,” she said, interrupting me in turn. “Is mummy in Lagos with you?”

“Yes,” I replied, trying not to be offended by her rash tone. “Why?”

“Good. Is she staying with you?” she asked again.

“Yes, she is. Amaka, what’s going on?”

“You don’t know?”

“Would I know and still ask what’s going on?” I sniped.

“Kevin, daddy drove mummy out of the house!”

“What!”

“You heard me right. He’s even thinking of getting a divorce.”

My sister was still talking, but all of a sudden, my entire body turned buttery, leaving me with a distinct feeling that I could just dropped to the floor. A buzzing began in my ear, relegating Amaka’s voice to the background of my mind. And for some reason, my vision became foggy.

“Kevin…Kevin…” I heard her call out on the land line.

“Yes…” My response was a croak.

“I don’t know what caused all this, but we all need to go and see daddy soon. I mean, a divorce? At their age? This is getting out of hand.”

“I have a job, Amaka,” I said, my voice strengthening some. “I can’t just pick up and travel to the UK anytime you want.”

“This is your family we’re talking about!” she yelled into my ear. “Our parents are about to break up and you’re worried about your job? You’re unbelievable, Kevin! Don’t you under –”

I didn’t let her finish. I hung up the call, and turned away from the phone. Nausea rose up from the pit of my stomach, reaching out to infect every nook and cranny of my body. I’d have thrown up if I’d had any breakfast – or last night’s dinner – waiting inside me to be displaced.

Suddenly I had a craving to be alone. I hastened with slightly-staggering steps to a part of the building where people hardly ever went – the home of the broom closet and music video props.

As I walked through this sanctum, searching for a spot to stop long enough to take a deep breath and unwind from my quiet desperation, I heard muffled noises coming from one of the broom closets. Moving closer, I could make out moans, gasped words, and the smacking sounds of kissing – the quasi-erotic sounds of two people in the throes of passion.

Instead of backing away from the closet, I moved toward it, suddenly and weirdly driven by the need to know who the lovers were. As I got closer to the door, the sounds coming from within seemed to become more intense and frantic. A female gasped. A male groaned. It sounded like they were proceeding to the really nasty stuff.

I reached for the door handle and pulled the door quietly open, just wide enough to peer into the small space, and then swallow back a gasp when I saw who the two people inside were.

Written by Reverend Hot

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Previous THE ASKING
Next New James Bond Writer Says Idris Elba Is ‘Too Street’ to Be 007

About author

You might also like

Series (Fiction) 5 Comments

BEING BRUNO (Episode 4)

PAST At eleven, you wrote the entrance examinations into the Unity schools. You remember the anticipation with which you had chosen the Federal Government College, Enugu and Nise at first

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Series (Fiction) 51 Comments

BUNKSIDE FRENZY (Episode 5)

The writer of this series, CeeCee would now like to be known as ‘Khaleesi’ (lol). That’s it. That’s the press release. 🙂 To catch up on previous episodes of Bunkside

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Series (Fiction) 12 Comments

Those Awkward Moments (Episode 18)

“YOU DID WHAT?! KEVIN, ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND?!” These were the first words out of Samuel’s mouth the moment I came to the highlight of my narration of

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

17 Comments

  1. simba
    September 01, 07:51 Reply

    A quickie….. with adrenaline rush and fear of getting caught sounds good to my groins

    • Pink Panther
      September 01, 07:54 Reply

      Something is hungrying you, simba, and e no dey market.

  2. kacee
    September 01, 08:12 Reply

    Omg R.Hot u just had to leave us hanging…

  3. pete
    September 01, 08:34 Reply

    Demoniker & Isaac?

  4. Mandy
    September 01, 09:07 Reply

    Demoniker and um…Samuel?

  5. Peak
    September 01, 09:54 Reply

    Demoniker and Chief Bassey

    I wonder who got mama Kevin knocked up

  6. Mitch
    September 01, 10:01 Reply

    Why is Kev being such a prick? Being nice won’t stop him from having his revenge. Besides, don’t they say revenge is a dish best served extremely cold

    • Pink Panther
      September 01, 10:05 Reply

      And what better way to refrigerate the dish than to serve it with a smile, yea?

  7. JOJOARMANI
    September 01, 10:10 Reply

    Demonicker and isaac? The guy now goes for a pussy? Or with josh?… Auchhh! My weavon is getting reckless from my imaginationz…. Rev.H u no try but u try! Atleast ur not stingy with the story just like pinky is with Love and sex in the city.

  8. Richard Moore
    September 01, 10:25 Reply

    Demoniker and Mula Mike?

    I forgot about the threatening divorce

    Cliffhangers everywhere!

    Rev what have I done to deserve this high BP you caused???

  9. Regal Sweetheart
    September 01, 10:45 Reply

    Hmmm. I predict that Samuel knocked up his friend’s momma; female voice – if it’s not Demonicker and Mula Mike, Josh probably was moaning in an effeminate way…..or wayraminit! Chief Bassey and Demonicker? No shitting me…..

    *stirring my Lipton*

  10. JustJames
    September 01, 10:52 Reply

    The part where the sis complained that Kevin was more worried about his job cracked me up. If it were me that would be my response.. I’ve got a job to do. If they decide they want to fuck up their marriage they should feel free to do so.

  11. Ruby
    September 01, 10:52 Reply

    Hmmmmmmmm…
    This is getting more interesting…

  12. Kester
    September 01, 11:07 Reply

    How about ngozi and chief Bassey? That would explain why she is a bitchy witch. Rev hot I love you. I’m ready to divorce nate for you

  13. iamcoy
    September 01, 16:38 Reply

    Why do I think Kevin’s dad is on the DL?
    And ‘trust this two to wreck/spoil this too’ was an epic line. Kudos on the cliffhanger Hot Cleric

Leave a Reply

Click here to cancel reply.